Edward Snowden Asylum in Russia – Wikipedia

Edward Snowden Asylum in Russia is part of the global surveillance disclosures made by Edward Snowden. On June 23, 2013, Snowden flew from Hong Kong to Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. Noting that his U.S. passport had been cancelled, Russian authorities restricted him to the airport terminal. On August 1, after 39 days in the transit section, Snowden left the airport. He was granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year. On August 7, 2014, six days after Snowden’s one-year temporary asylum expired, his Russian lawyer announced that Snowden had received a three-year residency permit. It allowed him to travel freely within Russia and to go abroad for up to three months. Snowden was not granted permanent political asylum, which would require a separate process.

Snowden left the Moscow airport on August 1 after 39 days in the transit section. He was granted temporary asylum in Russia for one year,[1] with extensions possible.[2] According to his Russian lawyer, Snowden went to an undisclosed location for security reasons.[3] The White House stated that it was “extremely disappointed,” and cancelled a previously scheduled meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.[4][5] Additionally, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham urged President Obama to boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, but House Speaker John Boehner, also a Republican, rejected that idea as “dead wrong.”[6]

In late July 2013, Lonnie Snowden said he believed his son would be better off staying in Russia, and didn’t believe he would receive a fair trial in the U.S.[7] In mid-October, he visited his son in Moscow, later telling the press that he was pleased with Edward’s situation, and still believed Russia was the best choice for his asylum, saying he wouldn’t have to worry about people “rushing across the border to render him.” Lonnie Snowden commented that his son was living comfortably in Russia and found Moscow “modern and sophisticated.”[8] Edward Snowden’s Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, announced on October 31 that his client had found a website maintenance job at one of Russia’s largest websites, but declined to identify the site. Jesselyn Radack, one of Snowden’s American lawyers, said she was unaware of any new job.[9] Asked about this by The Moscow Times in June 2014, The Guardian correspondent Luke Harding replied, “Kucherena is completely unreliable as a source. We [The Guardian] did the rounds of Russian IT companies when he made that claim last year and none of themnone of the big ones, at leastconfirmed this.”[10]

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, who had traveled to Russia to give Snowden a whistleblower award, said that Snowden gave no storage devices such as hard drives or USB flash drives to Russia or China, and had carried four blank laptops with him to Hong Kong and Moscow as a diversion. U.S. officials said they assumed that any classified materials downloaded by Snowden had fallen into the hands of China and Russia, though they acknowledged they had no proof of this.[11] In an October 2013 interview, Snowden maintained that he did not bring any classified material into Russia “because it wouldn’t serve the public interest.” He added, “There’s a zero percent chance the Russians or Chinese have received any documents.”[12] In June 2015, however, The Sunday Times reported that British government officials anonymously claimed to the paper that Russia and China had cracked an encrypted cache of files taken by Snowden, forcing the withdrawal of British spies from live operations.[13] The BBC also stated that their sources told them British intelligence assets had been moved as a precaution after the Snowden leaks.[14] Glenn Greenwald charged that the report contained fabrications and did nothing more than quote anonymous British officials; he said parts were removed from the original post without The Times saying it did so.[15]

WikiLeaks released video of Snowden on October 11 taken during the Sam Adams Award reception in Moscow, his first public appearance in three months. Former U.S. government officials attending the ceremony said they saw no evidence Snowden was under the control of Russian security services. The whistleblower group said he was in good spirits, looked well, and still believes he was right to release the NSA documents.[16] In the video, Snowden said “people all over the world are coming to realize” that the NSA’s surveillance programs put people in danger, hurt the U.S. and its economy, and “limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative, to have relationships and associate freely” as well as putting people “at risk of coming into conflict with our own government.”[17]

On October 31, German lawmaker Hans-Christian Strbele traveled to Moscow to meet with Snowden, whom he invited to testify before the German parliament to assist investigations into NSA surveillance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s phone since 2002.[18][19][20] After the visit, Snowden indicated a willingness to testify, though not from Moscow as Germany requested. Snowden said he would rather give testimony before the U.S. Congress, his second choice being Berlin.[21]

Also in October, Glenn Greenwald stated that the U.S. revoked Snowden’s passport while he was in transit to Latin America and threatened other countries that might offer safe passage.[22] WikiLeaks representative Sarah Harrison, who accompanied Snowden from Hong Kong to Moscow, left Russia in early November after waiting until she felt confident he had situated himself and was free from government interference.[23]

On December 17, 2013, Snowden wrote an open letter to the people of Brazil offering to assist the Brazilian government in investigating allegations of U.S. spying, and added that he continued to seek, and would require, asylum.[24] Snowden wrote, “Until a country grants permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak … going so far as to force down the Presidential Plane of Evo Morales to prevent me from traveling to Latin America!”[25] Brazil had been in an uproar since Snowden revealed that the U.S. was spying on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her senior advisors, and Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras.[26] Rousseff and officials of the Brazilian foreign ministry said in response that they could not consider asylum for Snowden because they had not received any formal request.[27] A representative of the foreign ministry said that a fax requesting asylum had been sent to the Brazilian embassy in Moscow in July but it had not been signed and could not be authenticated.[28] David Miranda, the Brazilian partner of Glenn Greenwald, launched an Internet petition urging the Brazilian president to consider offering Snowden asylum.[29]

Snowden met with Barton Gellman of The Washington Post six months after the disclosure for an exclusive interview spanning 14 hours, his first since being granted temporary asylum. Snowden talked about his life in Russia as “an indoor cat,” reflected on his time as an NSA contractor, and discussed at length the revelations of global surveillance and their reverberations. Snowden said, “In terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished … I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated.”[30] He commented “I am not trying to bring down the NSA, I am working to improve the NSA … I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don’t realize it.” On the accusation from former CIA and NSA director Michael Hayden that he had defected, Snowden stated, “If I defected at all, I defected from the government to the public.”[30] In 2014, Snowden said that he lives “a surprisingly open life” in Russia and that he is recognized when he goes to computer stores.[31]

According to BuzzFeed, in January 2014 an anonymous Pentagon official said he wanted to kill Snowden. “I would love to put a bullet in his head,” said the official, calling Snowden “single-handedly the greatest traitor in American history.” Members of the intelligence community also expressed their violent hostility. “In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American,” said an NSA analyst, “I personally would go and kill him myself.”[32] A State Department spokesperson condemned the threats.[33]

On Meet the Press in late January 2014, speculation arose from top U.S. officials in the House and Senate Intelligence Committees that Snowden might have been assisted by Russian intelligence,[34] prompting a rare interview during which Snowden spoke in his defense. He told The New Yorker “this ‘Russian spy’ push is absurd,” adding that he “clearly and unambiguously acted alone, with no assistance from anyone, much less a government.”[35] Investigations by the NSA and the FBI found no evidence that Snowden received any aid.[36] Days later, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein stated that she had seen no evidence that Snowden is a Russian spy.[37] Germany’s Der Spiegel suggested the accusations were part of a smear campaign by U.S. officials. The accusations did not faze Snowden, who said “outlets report statements that the speakers themselves admit are sheer speculation.”[38]

In late January 2014, U.S. attorney general Eric Holder, in an interview with MSNBC, indicated that the U.S. could allow Snowden to return from Russia under negotiated terms, saying he was prepared to engage in conversation with him, but that full clemency would be going too far.[39]

Snowden’s first television interview[40] aired January 26, 2014, on Germany’s NDR. In April 2014, he appeared on video from an undisclosed location during President Putin’s live annual Q&A exchange with the public. Snowden asked whether Russia intercepted, stored or analyzed individuals’ communications. Putin replied, “Russia uses surveillance techniques for spying on individuals only with the sanction of a court order. This is our law, and therefore there is no mass surveillance in our country.”[41] Benjamin Wittes in The New Republic described the exchange as “a highly-scripted propaganda stunt for Vladimir Putin”.[42] Snowden insisted his question was designed to hold the Russian president accountable.[43] In an op-ed for The Guardian, Snowden said his question was intended “to mirror the now infamous exchange in US Senate intelligence committee hearings between senator Ron Wyden and the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, about whether the NSA collected records on millions of Americans, and to invite either an important concession or a clear evasion.” Snowden called Putin’s response “evasive”.[44] A few days later, The Daily Beast reported that Snowden himself “instantly regretted” asking Putin the “softball question”, which was crafted with several of his key advisers, and that he was mortified by the reaction. ACLU attorney Ben Wizner, one of Snowden’s closest advisers, told the Beast that Snowden hadn’t realized how much his appearance with Putin would be seen as a Kremlin propaganda victory. “I know this is hard to believe,” Wizner acknowledged. “I know if I was just watching from afar, I’d think, ‘Wow, they forced him to do this.’ But it’s not true. He just fucking did it.”[45] Asked six months later about the incident, Snowden conceded, “Yeah, that was terrible! Oh, Jesus, that blew up in my face. … And in the United States, what I did appearing at that Putin press conference was not worth the price.”[46]

In March 2014, the international advocacy group European Digital Rights (EDRi) said that the European Parliament, in adopting a Data Protection Reform Package, rejected amendments that would have dropped charges against Snowden and granted him asylum or refugee status.[47]

In May 2014, NBC’s Brian Williams presented the first interview for American television.[48] In June, The Washington Post reported that during his first year of Russian asylum, Snowden had received “tens of thousands of dollars in cash awards and appearance fees from privacy organizations and other groups,” fielded inquiries about book and movie projects, and was considering taking a position with a South African foundation that would support work on security and privacy issues. “Any moment that he decides that he wants to be a wealthy person,” said Snowden’s attorney Ben Wizner, “that route is available to him,” although the U.S. government could attempt to seize such proceeds.[49]

Also in May, the German Parliamentary Committee investigating the NSA spying scandal unanimously decided to invite Snowden to testify as a witness.[50] In September, opposition parties in the German parliament filed constitutional complaints to force the government to let Snowden testify in Berlin. Snowden had refused a proposed video conference from Moscow, saying he wants to testify only in Berlin and asking for safe conduct.[51][52][53]

On July 13, 2014, The Guardian published its first story based on an exclusive, seven-hour interview newly conducted with Snowden in a Moscow city centre hotel. Snowden condemned the Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill announced to the UK’s House of Commons on July 10[54] bolstering the state’s right to keep personal data held by Internet and phone companies. Snowden said it was very unusual for a public body to pass such emergency legislation except during total war. “I mean we don’t have bombs falling. We don’t have U-boats in the harbor. It defies belief.”[55] The Daily Mail reported that Snowden had “caused fury” by attacking Britain. “His critics said the new surveillance Bill was being pushed through Parliament today largely because of his treachery in leaking Britain’s spy secrets.”[56] On July 13 and 17, The Guardian posted video clips, of about 2 minutes[55] and 14 minutes[57] in length, excerpted from the full interview. On July 18, The Guardian published a nearly 10,000-word edited transcript of their Snowden interview.[58] A year after arriving in Moscow, Snowden said he is still learning Russian. He keeps late and solitary hours, effectively living on U.S. time. He does not drink, cooks for himself but doesn’t eat much. “I don’t live in absolute secrecy,” he says. “I live a pretty open lifebut at the same time I don’t want to be a celebrity.” He does not work for a Russian organization, yet is financially secure thanks to substantial savings from his years as a well-paid contractor and more recently numerous awards and speaking fees from around the world.[59]

On August 7, 2014, six days after Snowden’s one-year temporary asylum expired, his Russian lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, announced that Snowden had received a three-year residency permit. It allowed him to travel freely within Russia and to go abroad for up to three months. Kucherena explained that Snowden had not been granted permanent political asylum, which required a separate process.[60]

In May 2015, Snowden’s lawyer Ben Wizner said that Snowden’s main source of income was speaking fees, which sometimes exceeded $10,000 per appearance.[61] In November 2015, Snowden said that he does not intend to play any role in Russian politics and wants to devote his focus to U.S. issues. During a panel event, he said, “people say I live in Russia, but that’s actually a little bit of a misunderstanding. I live on the Internet.”[62]

In the waning days of the Obama administration, former CIA Director Michael Morell suggested that Russia should extradite Snowden to the United States as a “gift” to Donald Trump. The comment drew harsh criticism by the Russian Foreign Ministry, which noted that Snowden had been granted an extension of his stay until 2020, and said what Morell proposed would be a betrayal.[63]

A senior U.S. official said in February 2017 that Russia was considering extraditing Snowden in order to “curry favor” with President Donald Trump. Snowden cited the comment as evidence that he was not a Russian spy.[64]

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Edward Snowden Asylum in Russia – Wikipedia

Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme – BBC News

Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the CIA, left the US in late May after leaking to the media details of extensive internet and phone surveillance by American intelligence. Mr Snowden, who has been granted temporary asylum in Russia, faces espionage charges over his actions.

As the scandal widens, BBC News looks at the leaks that brought US spying activities to light.

The scandal broke in early June 2013 when the Guardian newspaper reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) was collecting the telephone records of tens of millions of Americans.

The paper published the secret court order directing telecommunications company Verizon to hand over all its telephone data to the NSA on an “ongoing daily basis”.

That report was followed by revelations in both the Washington Post and Guardian that the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms, including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, to track online communication in a surveillance programme known as Prism.

Britain’s electronic eavesdropping agency GCHQ was also accused of gathering information on the online companies via Prism.

Shortly afterwards, the Guardian revealed that ex-CIA systems analyst Edward Snowden was behind the leaks about the US and UK surveillance programmes.

He has been charged in the US with theft of government property, unauthorised communication of national defence information and wilful communication of classified communications intelligence.

The GCHQ scandal widened on 21 June when the Guardian reported that the UK spy agency was tapping fibre-optic cables that carry global communications and sharing vast amounts of data with the NSA, its US counterpart.

The paper revealed it had obtained documents from Edward Snowden showing that the GCHQ operation, codenamed Tempora, had been running for 18 months.

GCHQ was able to boast a larger collection of data than the US, tapping into 200 fibre-optic cables to give it the ability to monitor up to 600 million communications every day, according to the report.

The information from internet and phone use was allegedly stored for up to 30 days to be sifted and analysed.

Although GCHQ did not break the law, the Guardian suggested that the existing legislation was being very broadly applied to allow such a large volume of data to be collected.

GCHQ and NSA eavesdropping on Italian phone calls and internet traffic was reported by the Italian weekly L’Espresso on 24 October. The revelations were sourced to Edward Snowden.

It is alleged that three undersea cables with terminals in Italy were targeted. Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta called the allegations “inconceivable and unacceptable” and said he wanted to establish the truth.

After fleeing to Hong Kong, Edward Snowden told the South China Morning Post that the NSA had led more than 61,000 hacking operations worldwide, including many in Hong Kong and mainland China.

He said targets in Hong Kong included the Chinese University, public officials and businesses.

“We hack network backbones – like huge internet routers, basically – that give us access to the communications of hundreds of thousands of computers without having to hack every single one,” Mr Snowden was quoted as saying.

Claims emerged on 29 June that the NSA had also spied on European Union offices in the US and Europe, according to Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine.

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The magazine said it had seen leaked NSA documents showing that the US had spied on EU internal computer networks in Washington and at the 27-member bloc’s UN office in New York.

The paper added that it had been shown the “top secret” files by Edward Snowden.

One document dated September 2010 explicitly named the EU representation at the UN as a “location target”, Der Spiegel wrote.

The files allegedly suggested that the NSA had also conducted an electronic eavesdropping operation in a building in Brussels, where the EU Council of Ministers and the European Council were located.

It is not known what information US spies might have obtained. But observers say details of European positions on trade and military matters could be useful to those involved in US-EU negotiations.

The German government summoned the US ambassador on 24 October – a very unusual step – after German media reported that the NSA had eavesdropped on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone.

The allegations dominated an EU summit, with Mrs Merkel demanding a full explanation and warning that trust between allies could be undermined. She discussed the matter by phone with US President Barack Obama. He assured her that her calls were not being monitored now and that it would not happen in future. But the White House did not deny bugging her phone in the past.

Past surveillance by secret police – whether Nazi or communist – has made Germans very sensitive about privacy issues. Mrs Merkel grew up in the former East Germany, where the Stasi spied on millions of citizens.

France’s President Francois Hollande meanwhile expressed alarm at reports that millions of French calls had been monitored by the US.

The Guardian later reported that the NSA had monitored the phones of 35 world leaders after being given their numbers by another US government official. Again, Edward Snowden was the source of the report.

A total of 38 embassies and missions have been the “targets” of US spying operations, according to a secret file leaked to the Guardian.

Countries targeted included France, Italy and Greece, as well as America’s non-European allies such as Japan, South Korea and India, the paper reported on 1 July.

EU embassies and missions in New York and Washington were also said to be under surveillance.

The file allegedly detailed “an extraordinary range” of spying methods used to intercept messages, including bugs, specialised antennae and wire taps.

The Guardian report also mentioned codenames of alleged operations against the French and Greek missions to the UN, as well as the Italian embassy in Washington.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said that activities to protect national security were “not unusual” in international relations.

US allies in Latin America were angered by revelations in Brazil’s O Globo newspaper on 10 July that the NSA ran a continent-wide surveillance programme.

The paper cited leaked documents showing that, at least until 2002, the NSA ran the operation from a base in Brasilia, seizing web traffic and details of phone calls from around the region.

US agents apparently joined forces with Brazilian telecoms firms to snoop on oil and energy firms, foreign visitors to Brazil, and major players in Mexico’s drug wars.

Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Chile all demanded answers from the US.

But the revelations on Latin America kept coming, and in September more specific claims emerged that emails and phone calls of the presidents of Mexico and Brazil had been intercepted.

Also, the US had been spying on Brazil’s state-owned oil firm Petrobras.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff cancelled a state visit to the US in the most high-profile diplomatic move since the scandal hit.

Documents leaked to the Washington Post in mid-August suggested the NSA breaks US privacy laws hundreds of times every year.

The papers revealed that US citizens were inadvertently snooped on for reasons including typing mistakes and errors in the system,

In one instance in 2008, a “large number” of calls placed from Washington DC were intercepted after an error in a computer program entered “202” – the telephone area code for Washington DC – into a data query instead of “20”, the country code for Egypt.

Later in August, the Washington Post reported that US spy agencies had a “black budget” for secret operations of almost $53bn in 2013.

In January 2014, the Guardian newspaper and Channel 4 News reported that the US had collected and stored almost 200 million text messages per day across the globe.

A National Security Agency (NSA) program is said to have extracted and stored data from the SMS messages to gather location information, contacts and financial data.

The documents also revealed that GCHQ had used the NSA database to search for information on people in the UK.

The programme, Dishfire, analyses SMS messages to extract information including contacts from missed call alerts, location from roaming and travel alerts, financial information from bank alerts and payments and names from electronic business cards, according to the report.

Through the vast database, which was in use at least as late as 2012, the NSA gained information on those who were not specifically targeted or under suspicion, the report says.

The revelations came on the eve of an expected announcement by President Obama of a response to recommendations by a US panel on ways to change US electronic surveillance programmes.

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Edward Snowden: Leaks that exposed US spy programme – BBC News

Edward Snowden: I got a security clearance faster than half …

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified intelligence to reporters in 2013, taunted the Trump administration for taking over a year to obtain permanent security clearances for some of the presidents top advisers.

I got a security clearance faster than half of this White House, Mr. Snowden, 34, tweeted Monday.

Mr. Snowdens razzing came in response to recent news reports involving President Trumps administration and its inability so far to obtain permanent security clearances for dozens of White House officials and political appointees, including Jared Kushner, the presidents son-in-law and close adviser, and Rob Porter, the recently terminated White House staff secretary.

More than a year into the Trump administration, upwards of 40 people have relied on temporary security clearances granting them interim access to classified information pending the results of ongoing FBI-conducted background checks, Mr. Kushner and Mr. Porter included, The Washington Post and CNN both reported Friday.

The White House has defended the delayed turnaround in Mr. Kushners case as completely normal. Skeptics have pointed at past reports involving his previously undisclosed conversations with former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyack, however, as well as other incidents that could potentially complicate his ability to clear any hurdles keeping him from a permanent security clearance.

Mr. Snowden enlisted in the U.S. Army in May 2004, but he broke both of his legs during basic training and was discharged four months later. He took a job the following year as a security guard at a NSA facility, albeit after obtaining a high-level security clearance upon passing a polygraph examination and background check, Wired reported previously. He subsequently worked for the CIA and had been employed as a NSA contractor holding a top-secret security clearance when he began leaking classified intelligence in 2013, including documents exposing the extent of the U.S. intelligence communitys international surveillance operations.

Mr. Snowden was charged with espionage by the Obama administration in connection with leaking classified intelligence, but was granted asylum by Russia in 2013 and has avoided prosecution by residing there ever since.

Mr. Trump was highly critical of Mr. Snowden before taking office, and he previously called him a traitor, a disgrace, a coward, a piece of human garbage, a liar and a fraud and a spy who should be executed, among other unpleasantries.

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Edward Snowden: I got a security clearance faster than half …

Edward Snowden – cnn.com

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Edward Snowden awards – Wikipedia

Edward Snowden awards is part of the reactions to global surveillance disclosures made by Edward Snowden. A subject of controversy, Snowden has been variously called a hero,[1][2][3] a whistleblower,[4][5][6][7] a dissident,[8] a patriot,[9][10][11] and a traitor.[12][13][14][15] He has been honored by publications and organizations based in Europe and the United States.

Edward Snowden was voted as The Guardian’s person of the year 2013, garnering four times the number of votes than any other candidate.[16]

The 2013 list of leading Global Thinkers,[17] published annually by Foreign Policy placed Snowden in first place due to the impact of his revelations. FP’s “Global Conversation visualization”[18] showed that Snowden “occupied a role in 2013’s global news media coverage just slightly less important than President Barack Obama himself.”[19]

Snowden headed TechRepublic’s Ten Tech Heroes of 2013. Editor Jack Wallen noted that besides raising public awareness of surveillance and government secrecy, Snowden’s leaks were significant for technology professionals.[20]

Snowden was named Times Person of the Year runner-up in 2013, behind Pope Francis.[21] Time was criticized for not placing him in the top spot.[22][23][24] In 2014, Snowden was named among Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the world.[25]

In February 2014, Snowden joined the board of directors of the Freedom of the Press Foundation,[26] co-founded by Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg. Journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras also sit on the board.[27]

In July 2014, Freie Universitt Berlin announced that Snowden had accepted its offer of honorary membership in recognition of what the university called “his extraordinary achievements in defense of transparency, justice, and freedom.” Apart from the honor, there are no rights, privileges or duties involved.[28]

Edward Snowden was awarded the biennial German Whistleblower Prize in August 2013, in absentia, with an accompanying award equal to 3,000. Established in 1999, the award is sponsored by the German branch of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms and by the Federation of German Scientists.[29] Organizers in Berlin said the prize was to acknowledge his “bold efforts to expose the massive and unsuspecting monitoring and storage of communication data, which cannot be accepted in democratic societies.”[30]

In October 2013, the Sam Adams Award was presented to Snowden in Moscow by a group of four visiting American former intelligence officers and whistleblowers.[31] After two months as an asylee, Snowden made his first public appearance to accept the award, a candlestick holder meant to symbolize bringing light to dark corners.[32] During their visit, one of the presentersFBI whistleblower Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Projectbecame Snowden’s lawyer.[33] A week later, Radack wrote in The Nation that Snowden exemplified Sam Adams’s “courage, persistence and devotion to truthno matter what the consequences.”[34]

Snowden was chosen to give Britain’s 2013 “Alternative Christmas Message”, Channel 4’s non-establishment parallel to the Royal Christmas Message by Queen Elizabeth II. In a short piece filmed by Laura Poitras, Snowden spoke about government surveillance in terms of George Orwell’s classic novel Nineteen Eighty-Four arguing that modern surveillance capabilities far surpass those imagined for Big Brother.[35][36][37]

In February 2014, Snowden was elected Rector of the University of Glasgow, a ceremonial post of student body representative chosen by the students themselves. He won the historic office by a wide margin of votes, even though his nomination, like those of several other past Rectors, was a purely symbolic gesture. He served his three-year term in absentia.[38][39][40]

At the German Big Brother Awards gala on April 11, 2014, Edward Snowden was honored with the first-ever Julia and Winston Award (positive award), named after the two main rebellious characters in Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The award was endowed with one million stickers calling on the German government to grant asylum to Snowden. The award’s organizers, Digitalcourage, made the stickers available free online for the public to distribute throughout Germany.[41]

In April 2014, Snowden and Laura Poitras were awarded the Ridenhour Truth-Telling Prize, given by The Nation Institute and The Fertel Foundation for transparency and whistleblowing.[42] Snowden and Poitras each appeared on video at the National Press Club to accept the award.[43] Snowden gave a speech and took questions from the audience, who accorded him several standing ovations.[44] During his speech, he questioned why he had been so swiftly charged with crimes whereas Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was not even reprimanded for his “famous lie” to Congress.[45]

In December 2014, Snowden shared a Joint Honorary Award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian, from the Swedish Right Livelihood Award Foundation.[46]

Also in December 2014, Snowden shared the International League for Human Rights annual Carl von Ossietzky medal with journalists Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras.[47]

In 2014, Snowden was nominated for the IQ Award by members of the non-profit organization Mensa Germany. Although the official IQ Award commission confirmed his nomination, the managing board of Mensa threatened the commission to subdue Snowden’s nomination, and in doing so, they violated the Mensa bylaws.[48] The German Mensa board did this also in reaction to talks with Mensa International. Consequently, it was not possible for Mensa members to vote for Snowden. This caused big controversies among the Mensa members, leading to the effect that opposing Mensa members agreed to all vote in protest for actor Jonny Lee Miller as the most nonsensical nominee, who thus won the election.[49]

In 2016, the Norwegian chapter of PEN International awarded Snowden the Ossietzky Prize given “For outstanding achievements within the field of freedom of expression”.[50] Snowden applied to Norway for safe passage to pick up the prize, but the courts said they were unable to legally rule on anything because Snowden was not in the country and they had not received a formal extradition request.[51]

Category:Rectors of the University of Glasgow

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Edward Snowden awards – Wikipedia

Even Edward Snowden Is Slamming the Devin Nunes Memo

Edward Snowden is the latest to weigh in on U.S. Representative Devin Nunes push to release a formerly classified memo suggesting the F.B.I and Justice Department abused their authority to spy on former Trump campaign advisor Carter Paige. Snowdens rise to fame and perspective on the matter comes courtesy of his 2013 leaking of top-secret N.S.A. documents detailing a broad domestic and international spying program orchestrated by the U.S. Government.

#TBT: I required the journalists who broke the 2013 domestic spying stories (as a condition of access) to talk with gov in advance of publication as an extraordinary precaution to prevent any risk of harm. Turns out our standard of care was higher than the actual Intel committee. https://t.co/ATzLQGqkeo

And while Snowden says he took the precaution of making journalists who published information from his 1.5 million files talk to the members of the intelligence community to prevent harm, Nunes reportedly took no such measures.

Mr. Nunes has not read the warrant from which the memo is said to be drawn, wrote Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Matthew Rosenberg, in a New York Times report on Nunes. The Justice Department considers such warrants extremely sensitive and allowed only one Democrat and one Republican from the [Ways and Means] committee, plus staff, to view it. Rather than do so himself, Mr. Nunes designated Representative Trey Gowdy of South Carolina to be the Republican reader.

The memo, warrant and related investigation are all directly tied to F.B.I. reports of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential Election. In addition to serving as Trumps campaign advisor, Paige met with two men who were charged with working as agents for Russian intelligence in New York. Donald Trump, who won the election and has been accused of collusion with Russian operatives, signed off on releasing the memo. Trump granted the release against what the F.B.I. called grave concerns about material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memos accuracy.

Trump then took to Twitter to note (in the third person) that the memo he signed off on releasing totally vindicates him.

This memo totally vindicates Trump in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!

Among other things, that led to Snowden calling out the very House Intelligence Committee he asked journalists to talk to in 2013.

Turns out our standard of care was higher than the actual Intel committee, Snowden tweeted, after it was all but confirmed Nunes push to publicize the memo would be successful.

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Even Edward Snowden Is Slamming the Devin Nunes Memo

Edward Snowden is campaigning against the worlds largest …

American whistleblower and former Central Intelligence Agency employee Edward Snowden has joined the campaign against Aadhaar, Indias 12-digit unique identification number programme that has been under fire for its security and privacy systems.

On Sunday, Jan. 21, Snowden backed KC Verma, former head of Indias external intelligence agency, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), who had written about his experiences with Aadhaar. Snowden retweeted the article published in The Wire saying the act of organisations such as banks and telcos forcing individuals to produce their Aadhaar numbers should be criminalized.

Snowdens voice against the Aadhaar programme has been growing louder ever since he first made a reference to the scheme on Jan. 04 after tech journalist Zack Whittaker tweeted a Buzzfeed News piece on the alleged security breach of the Aadhaar database.

A couple of days later, he spoke up on Twitter against the state-run Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) filing a first information report (FIR) against a journalist with The Tribune newspaper who wrote about security breaches of the Aadhaar database. The journalist, Rachna Khaira, described in an article how she paid just Rs500 ($7.84) to buy Aadhaar data from an anonymous seller over WhatsApp.

Snowden, currently under temporary asylum in Russia, also retweeted a statement posted on Twitter by the editor-in-chief of The Tribune.

In addition to openly pointing out flaws in the Aadhaar system, Snowden has also spent time retweeting multiple complaints from Indians about their experiences with Aadhaar.

For months now, Aadhaar has been under attack due to privacy concerns and criticisms of the flawed implementation of the programme, forcing the UIDAI to step up its security processes by introducing new features such as a Virtual ID to authenticate and verify the Aadhaar numbers. Ever since 2015, there have been a number of purported data breaches, including duplication of cards and fraudulent bank transactions made using leaked biometric data.

Meanwhile, the implementation of the Aadhaar scheme is currently being evaluated by a five-member bench in the supreme court of India, led by chief justice Dipak Misra. The perusal follows multiple petitions filed in the courts over the security and privacy being maintained by the UIDAI. This includes a case filed by a womens rights activist claiming that linking Aadhaar data to mobile phone numbers violates privacy, and another filed by a group of bank employees stating they dont have the wherewithal to provide Aadhaar-related services.

The hearing comes four months after the supreme court ruled that privacy is a fundamental right of all Indians, which immediately put a cloud over the aggressive linking of Aadhaar with other schemes and programmes under the Narendra Modi government.

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Edward Snowden is campaigning against the worlds largest …

Edward Snowden calls for public release of FISA abuses memo …

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden said the bill to reauthorize Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act would never have passed through both chambers of Congress if a memo Republicans claim has revelations about U.S. government surveillance abuses was released prior to the vote.

As such, Snowden called on President Trump to veto the legislation giving six more years of life to the key counterterrorism surveillance tool.

“Officials confirm there’s a secret report showing abuses of spy law Congress voted to reauthorize this week. If this memo had been known prior to the vote, FISA reauth [sic] would have failed,” Snowden tweeted early Friday. “These abuses must be made public, and @realDonaldTrump should send the bill back with a veto.”

If Trump does not veto the bill and sent it back to Congress for “reform,” Snowden said, “this is nothing but politics.”

Trump, however, announced on Twitter Friday afternoon that he signed the bill.

Following the successful House vote, the Senate just barely advanced legislation on Tuesday to reauthorize Section 702 of FISA despite demands from Republicans and Democrats for more privacy protections for U.S. citizens a cause espoused by Snowden.

Last week, before the FISA reauthorization bill’s passage in Congress, Trump claimed in a tweet the Obama administration used the controversial surveillance tool to justify the “unmasking” of members of his campaign who were caught up in the surveillance of foreign nationals. However, Trump backed off his critique of the surveillance law in a tweet later that morning, one that reflected his administration’s support for the reauthorization of the measure.

The FISA memo was released internally to House members only on Thursday. Since it’s release a number of Republican lawmakers have rallied for its release to the general public, in some cases using a “ReleaseTheMemo” hashtag on social media. The effort has gone viral on social media, and appears to has gotten a sizable boost from Twitter accounts linked to Russian influence efforts.

Snowden was asked if he was “planting his flag” for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, who last month was cleared by the ethics panel on allegations that he mishandled classified information by giving it to the Trump White House while accusing the Obama administration of “unmasking” the identities associates of Trump.

“Of course not,” Snowden replied, adding, “but when the chairman of House Intel (HPSCI) claims there’s documented evidence of serious surveillance abuses, it matters. If true, the citizens must see the proof. If false, it establishes HPSCI lies and has no credibility.”

“Either outcome benefits the public,” Snowden added.

Snowden was granted asylum in Russia back in 2013 after he leaked secret information from the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs and has been there ever since.

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Edward Snowden calls for public release of FISA abuses memo …

House votes to renew FISA surveillance laws revealed by …

The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday to renew US spy powers first revealed by Edward Snowden in 2013.

The US House of Representatives gave a boost to the government’s surveillance powers.

Lawmakers voted 256-164on Thursday to extend NSA programs that collect communications over the internet for national security purposes.

The law that authorized the surveillance programs is set to expire on Jan. 19.

That law, Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, was passed in 2008. Under it, a court that hears secret national security matters decides whether to let the National Security Agency collect emails, documents and other internet communications in government surveillance programs known as Prism and Upstream.

The Prism program collects communications from internet services directly. The Upstream program collects data as it travels across the internet. The programs target people outside the US, but do collect the communications of Americans who communicate with the targets of spies overseas.

Details of those programs became public in 2013 when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed them to journalists, who published stories in the Guardian and The Washington Post. After those disclosures, the government declassified information about the programs and began publishing annual transparency reports about the use of the surveillance tools.

The original deadline to renew the surveillance powers passed on Dec. 31 without a debate on the floor of either house on potential reforms. Congress voted to extend the programs temporarily until Jan. 19. The Senate must also now vote to renew the powers before the programs can be extended further.

US intelligence agencies have pressed lawmakers to preserve the programs. In a letter to Congress signed by US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the heads of the NSA, FBI, Central Intelligence Agency, officials said losing the authority to run these surveillance programs would put the country’s national security in danger. “Section 702 has been instrumental in preventing attacks on the homeland and removing terrorists from the battlefield,” the letter said.

The biggest sticking point for privacy advocates, including the ACLU, has been a policy allowing the FBI to bypass getting a warrant before accessing emails and other communications of Americans collected by the NSA under these programs.

An amendment that would have required the FBI to obtain a warrant to access information in the NSA’s database failed in the House on Thursday. The bill extending the surveillance programs does require the FBI to get a warrant by arguing they have probable cause to search the NSA’s database in open investigations that don’t involve national security or terrorism. That requirement doesn’t extend to open FBI investigations of terrorism and national security cases.

Demand Progress, a civil-liberties focused advocacy group, condemned the House for voting down the amendment. “By failing to close the backdoor search loophole in this bill, which exposes millions of innocent Americans to warrantless government surveillance, members of Congress have ceded incredible domestic spying powers to the executive branch,” the organization said in a statement.

In debate on the amendment, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, argued that putting in place the warrant requirement would hinder the FBI’s efforts to prevent terrorism attacks in the US.

“This amendment, plain and simple, would disable 702, our most important national security tool,” he said.

His arguments echoed concerns that requiring a warrant even in cases directly related to national security — rather than other types of criminal investigations — would put up dangerous barriers to communication between US intelligence agencies. After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the intelligence community came under scrutiny for failing to share information with each other about the alleged perpetrators before the attacks.

In December, Snowden chimed in on what he and privacy advocates call a “back door” given to other intelligence agencies. He joined ACLU lawyers to answer questions on a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” forum and highlighted the issue of incidentally collected emails and other communications.

“These ‘incidentally collected’ communications of Americans can then be kept and searched at any time, without a warrant. Does that sound right to you?” Snowden said.

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House votes to renew FISA surveillance laws revealed by …

India’s Aadhaar open for abuse: Edward Snowden

NEW DELHI: Whistleblower Edward Snowden has become the latest to raise alarm about the vulnerability of the Aadhaar database, a day after the Tribune newspaper reported that an administrator login ID and password to gain access to the UID portal could be acquired for as little as Rs 500.

Retweeting CBS journalist Zack Whittaker’s response on a BuzzFeed report on the breach of Aadhaar database in India, Snowden said, “It is the natural tendency of government to desire perfect records of private lives. History shows that no matter the laws, the result is abuse.”

Whittaker had earlier said, “ICYMI. India has a national ID database with the private information of nearly 1.2 billion nationals. It has reportedly been breached. Admin accounts can be made and access can be sold to the database, reports BuzzFeed.”

On Thursday, The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), which administers the Aadhaar project, defended the system’s security protocols and rejected a report about the ease with which the system can be infiltrated and demographic data accessed.

“Claims of bypassing or duping the Aadhaar enrolment system are totally unfounded,” UIDAI said in a press release. “Aadhaar data is fully safe and secure and has robust uncompromised security. The UIDAI data centres are infrastructure of critical importance and is protected accordingly with high technology conforming to the best standards of security and also by legal provisions.”

Snowden a former CIA contractor leaked classified government documents to expose the US National Security Agency’s internet and phone surveillance in 2013. He has been since living in exile.

According to the Tribune report, whoever had administrator login ID and password would get access to demographic details of Aadhaar holders. The report also alleged there were around 100,000 illegal users and that the racket might have started six months ago. ET has not been able to verify the authenticity of the report.

The UIDAI said it had provided the search facility for the purpose of grievance redressal to designated personnel and state government officials to help Aadhaar holders by entering the ID or enrollment number, such as updating addresses.

“UIDAI maintains complete log and traceability of the facility and any misuse can be traced and appropriate action taken,” it said. “The reported case appears to be instance of misuse of the grievance redressal search facility. As UIDAI maintains complete log and traceability of the facility, the legal action including lodging of FIR against the persons involved in the instant case is being done.”

It also added that “mere display of demographic information cannot be misused without biometrics.”

Experts said that even though biometric details may not have been accessed, leaking of demographic details was a substantial breach in itself and have called for a review of the security practices of Aadhaar.

(ANI contributed to this report.)

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India’s Aadhaar open for abuse: Edward Snowden